Washington is in the grip of stimulus-package fever; President Bush discussed the broad outlines of a plan today and Congress is in "just do something" mode. In the midst of this Keynesian foolishness, Bill Thomas and Alex Brill have an incisive piece in today's Wall Street Journal:
Washington is abuzz these days with calls for economic stimulus. The presidential candidates are eager to "rescue" voters, and the administration doesn't want its final chapter to end on a sour note.
The current tax code -- designed to discourage capital accumulation and projected to collect rising levels of revenue in increasingly complex and distortionary ways -- does need serious reform. But what we're getting instead from politicians and economists are legislatively challenging, economically questionable and politically motivated policies to address a potential problem best handled by the Federal Reserve.
Hate to spoil the end as well as the beginning, but the concluding sentence is too good not to post:
If history is a guide, economically sound help from Washington will arrive late at best and likely not at all.